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ASTM Approves the Use of Algae Biofuels in Passenger Airlines

June 13th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Aviation-Fuel

The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines commended the ASTM International Committee on Petroleum Products and Lubricants for approving a new jet fuel specification that will further enable the use of sustainable alternative fuels in aviation.

According to ATA, airlines have gained technical approval to use fuel processed from algae and other organic waste and inedible plants for up to 50 per cent of their fuel needs. The preliminary decision by ASTM International is expected to open up the $140 billion a year aviation fuel industry to a host of new biotech and biofuel competitors and suppliers, including several algae start-ups in Australia.

Harry Boyle, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, said “The biotech-biofuels business models of Amyris Inc. (AMRS), Codexis Inc. (CDXS), Gevo Inc. and Solazyme Inc. are all making claims to these types of new markets.” Other biofuels companies that may benefit from opening up the $139 billion-a-year aviation fuel market are Neste Oil Oyj (NES1V) of Finland, Spain’s Abengoa SA and Honeywell International Inc. (HON)’s UOP unit, which is developing a fuel-making technology.

According to Barbara Schindler, communications director at ASTM, final approval will be given only by July 1st and Airlines will then be able to begin using bio-derived fuel a week or so thereafter.

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